By Jon Walker
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. Romans 3:20 (NIV)
I once went to one of those coin-sorting machines today and poured in a huge bag of change that had accumulated in a cup kept on the chest of drawers in my bedroom.
The total came to $22.31. I took the receipt to customer service and the cashier gave me 22 dollars in bills . . . and then 31 cents.
So I still have change and I paid the machine eight percent of the total to count those 31 cents (why it rejected the rubber band and the guitar pick that also poured out of the cup is beyond me).
Hmmm, I think I need some chocolate to help me think this through. Perhaps this is how you get hooked into an addiction; you always have change left over, so you eventually have to come back.
I know, I could count out the exact amount of change to total an even dollar amount, like $22.00 and no cents, and then pour that into the coin-sorting machine.
But then I’d be counting the change myself and I might as well not be at the machine. Aarghhhh!!!!
I definitely need some chocolate to reach a cosmic revelation on this. Anybody got change for a candy bar? I seem to be a little short . . .
When we try to live by the law, it’s like we’re pouring change into a coin-sorting machine, always trying to hit an even dollar amount. The law serves a useful purpose in that it shows us how impossible it is to reach God-righteousness by our own efforts.
The frustration we feel when we stumble and fail is absolutely normal. In truth, it’s part of God’s plan. “Through the law we become conscious of sin,” (Romans 3:20 NIV) and by realizing how far we fall short, we’re able to admit, “I can’t; God can.”
Once there, we’re able to live by the Holy Spirit at work within us.